The Colonial Data Center and Virtualization

No, not colonial as in Battlestar Gallactica or the British Empire, colonial as in corals and weeds and virtual machines

I was out pulling weeds this summer – Canada thistle to be exact – and was struck by how much its root system reminded me of Cnidaria (soft corals to those of you whose experience with aquaria remains relegated to suicidal goldfish). Canada thistle is difficult to control because of its extensive root system. Pulling a larger specimen you often find yourself pulling up its root, only to find it connected to three, four or more other specimens. Cnidaria reproduce in a similar fashion, sharing a “root” system that enables them to share resources. Unlike thistles, however, Cnidaria has several different growth forms. There’s a traditional colonial form that resembles thistles – a single, shared long root with various specimens popping up along the path – and one that may be familiar to folks who’ve seen Finding Nemo: a tree formation in which the root branches not only horizontally but vertically, with individual specimens forming upwards along the branch in what gives it a tree-like appearance.

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